St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced a plan Tuesday to reopen county parks, even as his extended stay-at-home order remains in effect.
Page’s announcement at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday opened 33 parks immediately, although he warned that they would be closed again if people don’t use social distancing or crowd too much into parks and trails.
“But even though it’s too early to lift our stay-at-home orders, it’s not too early to talk about what that might look like, and we will begin with our parks,” Page said at a briefing Monday. “We will allow some of our residents to enjoy some of our best amenities, and our stir-crazy kids will have some options to release some of their energy. We can certainly take advantage of the spring weather. Closing our parks proved necessary to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in our community, but reopening them with some restrictions is the right thing to do.”
South County parks that are reopening include: Jefferson Barracks Park, Bee Tree Park and Cliff Cave Park in Oakville, Blake C. Snyder Memorial Park in Green Park, Grant’s Trail, Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills, Lemay Park and Kennedy Recreation Center, Suson Park, Lower Meramec Park and Butler Lake in Concord. Buder Park and George Winter Park in Fenton will also reopen.
The other parks that will reopen countywide include Lone Elk Park for drive-thru only, Tilles Park and Creve Coeur Park, along with Bella Fontaine, Castlepoint, Champ, Faust, Fort Belle Fontaine, Greensfelder, Love, McDonnell, Ohlendorf West, Queeny, Sherman Beach, Simpson Park in Valley Park, Sioux Passage, Spanish Lake, St. Vincent, Unger, Veterans Memorial and West Tyson.
As part of the changes, most loop trails will be converted into one-way trails. All other trails will remain bidirectional.
Park bathrooms, dog parks, indoor facilities, sports courts and recreation, shelters, playgrounds, skate parks and the Creve Coeur Park Soccer Complex are all closed. All programs, activities, events and rentals regardless of size are canceled through at least Friday, May 15.
The parks that will remain closed in South County are: Bohrer, Mackenzie, Ohlendorf, Mathilda-Welmering, St. George and Classe Park in Affton, Widman Park in Oakville and Sylvan Springs and Black Forest in Lemay. Robert Winter Park in Fenton will also stay closed.
Other county parks that will remain closed elsewhere are Antire, Bissell House, Bright, Classe, Ebsworth, Endicott, Hunter’s Ford, King, Kinloch, Larimore, Memorial and Schaefer Bend.
Page tweeted Monday, “We can do this safely if we adjust to new behaviors, and nearly 700 signs will help navigate trails and remind folks to stay 6 ft. apart.”